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Age and the critical period hypothesis Christian Abello-Contesse. He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on L2 learning and teaching and has taught at several universities in Chile, Spain, and the United States. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar.


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Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved. Issue Section:. Download all figures. However, some researches maintain a modification of the original CPH into a sensitive period hypothesis SPH due to the results of further research that periods of special adaptability in the course of maturation are not always sharply set off or on, as the CPH maintains.

Critical period hypothesis - Wikipedia

Hence, the SPH proposes:. As in the critical period formulation, the special adaption is thought to occur during an early phase, but in this weaker formulation, the sensitivity does not disappear at a fixed point; instead it is thought to fade away over a longer period of time, perhaps covering later childhood puberty and adolescence. Whereas the window of opportunity in the CPH then is of a well-defines character due to Lenneberge between , the SPH maintains a gradually declining period of opportunities over a longer time range. According to Hyltenstam and Abrahamson this period can range from later childhood to puberty until young adolescence.


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Further, Meisel argues that due to the conflicting findings various studies contra the CPH are due to insufficiently precise definitions of the CPH Hausarbeit Hauptseminar , 15 Seiten, Note: 3,0. J M Jochen Mueller Autor. In den Warenkorb.

References

The Sensitive Period Hypothesis Lenneberg already suggested in his definition of the CPH the possible extension to second language acquisition SLA when he states, Automatic acquisition form mere exposure to a given language seems to disappear, and foreign languages have to be taught and learned through a conscious and labored effort.

Hence, the SPH proposes: As in the critical period formulation, the special adaption is thought to occur during an early phase, but in this weaker formulation, the sensitivity does not disappear at a fixed point; instead it is thought to fade away over a longer period of time, perhaps covering later childhood puberty and adolescence.

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Other factors such as environment, motivation, extreme exposure, demand of their profession and complete immersion. Play significant role in the success of second language acquisition not just primarily on maturational factor. At first glance children tend to learn a new language better and faster than adults do. They also seem to be able to attain native-like proficiency if given very early and constant exposure to the said language. Fundamentally this is what sparks the notion of CPH which means that there is a certain period of time where language learning is at its utmost peak which is before puberty.

International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching

During that time second language learning is definitely going to be successful and beyond which learners are doomed to failure. However, if we take a closer look we could see that CPH is not always the case. There are individuals or adults who start later in life in learning a second language but manage to achieve higher level of that language even up to the point of being native-like.

This certainly make the idea of CPH becomes invalid.

Neurobiology of imagination and language acquisition critical period – the Mental Synthesis Theory

In my own point of view I strongly think that CPH is not the only reason or factor that can be used to explain the success or the failure of acquiring a second language. I think that many other factors come into play. Marinova-Todd found in her study that although we cannot entirely overlook the age factor in language acquisition, its influence must be measured in unison with cognitive and affective factors.

She suggested that the way or how we learn a second language is more substantial for L2 ultimate proficiency then the time or when we learn them. Other than that they also stated that complete immersion in the target language environment by which learners are exposed to the language for a long period of time can in the end lead to native-like proficiency.

If the adult learners have really high desire and will to learn the language and be proficient at it then I think it is not impossible for them to reach native-like mastery. However, the decline has been proven to be gradual. Research has yet to record a rapid drop in L2 ability at the end of the critical period. This caused contradicting views on CPH. In addition, as mentioned earlier many research that has been done on adults L2 learners that have demonstrated native-like pronunciation and grammar proficiency well beyond the puberty age further proved that they are not affected by any time frame of language learning.

As a conclusion, I definitely agree that more research must be done on the critical period hypothesis.

There are many missing links that can be used as evidence in proving the existence of a critical period. I believe that if an adult chooses to start learning a second language there is no time limit for them to start it. I strongly believe that age is not the sole factors that could affect language acquisition but other factors such as motivation, environment, immersion and many more can undoubtedly affect the successful of acquiring a second language.

Tokudome, M.